Chicamuxen 5-Pounder!

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Steve Kolbe and I launched out of Fort Smallwood on the Mattawoman and fished the mouth of the Chicamuxen on the Potomac, with Steve catching a nice catfish on a spinnerbait.  We then went into the Chicamuxen and fished the milfoil, hydrilla and wild celery SAV fields (minor amounts of water stargrass too).  Steve got several short strikes on a small frog topwater surface lure.

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On a rising tide, we then went up into the back of the Chicamuxen.  Steve cast a Mann’s Baby-1 Minus crankbait toward the bank, which was inhaled.  The tussle was on!
Now the dilemma, take pictures or grab the net?  Steve said he thought he had a big one, so the net it was.  With some 40-feet of 12-pound test out in the water, we could see the hint of hugeness as the angry fish would turn to show herself.
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Wow, the photo does not do justice to the quality and size of this largemouth bass.

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Her mouth was so big, you could easily insert your fist into her mouth with room to spare.

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This is the biggest fish I’ve ever seen on my measuring board, coming in at 22.7-inches . . .

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. . . and with a weight of 5.25-pounds.  When I got home to prepare this e-mail, I went on-line and did some research, using a growth chart, weight to length and age scale/calculator as prepared by fish biologist Doug Hannon.
A 22 to 23-inch largemouth bass usually weighs-in at about 7-pounds and may be upwards of 12-years old.  This female was lean in her center, suggesting that she may have recently gone through the breeding process and guarding fry.  Her pre-spawn girth (figure) may have been even more impressive, plus added weight.
Steve tells me that this is his personal best to date.  Anyone who fishes with any degree of regularity knows that a five-pound bass is something special.  Steve, make one of these photos your screen saver, so that you can relish the catch for a while.  Well done.
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